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Elon Musk is too difficult to imitate



Peter Thiel, co-founder of Palantir.

Photographer | CNBC

Facebook board member and Trump supporter Peter Thiel called Elon Musk a "negative role model" because his many innovations make him difficult to emulate.

Thiel, who called himself a "good friend" of Tesla and SpaceX CEO, made the comment during a stage debate at UCLA's Internet50 event on Tuesday. Thiel discussed Robert Metcalfe, professor of innovation and entrepreneurship at the University of Texas at Austin, about the question "has innovation really stopped?"

Thiel argued favorably, while Metcalfe took the other side.

"Elon is the counterexample" to the argument that real innovation has stopped, Thiel said, comparing him to former Apple CEO Steve Jobs as a singular major innovator. .

"It's very strange where it's history is to have a person who helped develop electric cars and reusable rockets," Thiel said. "But if you say to a young person, & # 39; why shouldn't you be like Elon? & # 39; it's a negative role model where the basic response is, & # 39; it's too difficult, I can't do that & # 39; "

Thiel said it might be easier to suggest that a young person" start a computer dorm from a college dorm, "which may be an allusion to Facebook's origin story.

Thiel and Musk go far back: Thiel co-founded PayPal, which later merged with Musk's financial services company.

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